Independent Documentary Filmmaking

Documentary films have the power to change the world. And the best part is, you don’t need a lot to get started making a film you’re proud of that can influence and inspire the masses. In this session, Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Sarah Moshman takes you through the step-by-step process of how to make a documentary from developing an idea to all aspects of filmmaking: fundraising, equipment basics, marketing, distribution, and lots more. After directing and producing 3 feature-length documentaries ("The Empowerment Project: Ordinary Women Doing Extraordinary Things", "Losing Sight of Shore" and "Nevertheless"), Moshman shares her personal stories and real world examples of how she raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund her projects independently, screened her films countless times around the world, as well as landed a six-figure licensing deal with Netflix. If you’re wondering how to conduct a great interview, run a successful crowdfunding campaign, bring on investors, and navigate the distribution landscape, this class has something for every aspiring or seasoned filmmaker to feel empowered to tell the stories that matter to them, on their own terms.



Sarah Moshman is an Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker and TEDx speaker whose work has been featured on Upworthy, Marie Claire, CNN, and Good Morning America. After directing two short documentaries about female empowerment in young women, (Girls Rock! Chicago (2010) and Growing up Strong: Girls on the Run (2012)) she set out to direct her first feature doc The Empowerment Project: Ordinary Women Doing Extraordinary Things (2014) which has been screened over 700 times around the US and around the world in schools, groups, organizations and corporations starting conversations about gender equality. With Indieflix as the distributor, the film has been sponsored by major brands like Nordstrom, American Girl and Microsoft to spread this message far and wide. Sarah's second feature doc, Losing Sight of Shore follows the incredible journey of four women who rowed across the Pacific Ocean. The film was released globally in 190 countries on Netflix in May 2017. NEVERTHELESS is Sarah’s third feature documentary which takes a look behind the headlines of #MeToo and Time’s Up to shine a light on the sexual harassment crisis and use the power of cinema for change. Sarah is dedicated to telling stories that uplift, inform and inspire as well as showcase strong female role models on screen.

Prior to working in documentaries Sarah worked as a field producer on the hit ABC show Dancing with the Stars for 10 seasons as well as shows on NBC, MTV, Lifetime, Bravo and the Food Network. She also directs branded content for EllenTube, Tastemade, Mattel, AT&T, Samsung, Stayfree, SPANX, and more. Sarah is an inspiring public speaker, author, and an adjunct professor in documentary film, passionate about empowering the next generation of storytellers.

Amazing Weekend

For Writers In All

Medium of Story